Galveston is a coastal resort city on Galveston Island and Pelican Island in the U.S. state of Texas. The community of 209.3 square miles (542 km²), with an estimated population of 50,180 in 2015, is the county seat and second-largest municipality of Galveston County. It is within Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan area.
Named after Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Count of Gálvez (born in Macharaviaya, Málaga, Spain), Galveston's first European settlements on the island were built around 1816 by French pirate Louis-Michel Aury to help the fledgling Republic of Mexico fight Spain. The Port of Galveston was established in 1825 by the Congress of Mexico following its independence from Spain. The city was the main port for the Texas Navy during the Texas Revolution, and later served as the capital of the Republic of Texas.
The city of Galveston is situated on Galveston Island, a barrier island off the Texas Gulf coast near the mainland coast. Made up of mostly sand-sized particles and smaller amounts of finer mud sediments and larger gravel-sized sediments, the island is unstable, affected by water and weather, and can shift its boundaries through erosion.
The city is about 45 miles (72 km) southeast of downtown Houston. The island is oriented generally northeast-southwest, with the Gulf of Mexico on the east and south, West Bay on the west, and Galveston Bay on the north. The island's main access point from the mainland is the Interstate Highway 45 causeway that crosses West Bay on the island's northeast side.
As of the census of 2010, there were 47,743 people, 19,943 households, and 10,779 families residing in the city. As of the 2016 U.S. Census estimate, the city had a total population of 50,550. The population density was 1,159 people per square mile (447/km²). There were 32,368 housing units at an average density of 786 per square mile (303/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 62.5% White, 19.2% Black or African American, 0.9% Native American, 3.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 11.0% from other races, and 3.3% from two or more races. 31.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 19,943 households out of which 20.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.4% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.0% were non-families. 36.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 3.02.
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